tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN February 16, 2015 10:19pm-10:31pm EST
>> and us an e-mail. tweet us post us -- post on all. >> joining us now alan carl who has written a book called forks. first of all, what is on the front of your book? >> it is actually a motorcycle in the middle of nowhere place in southern south america patagonia, actually. i took that motorcycle for three years alone and wrote it all over the world. >> y? >> you know, a lot of us have passions and dreams and i wanted to travel around the world. photography certainly writing a motorcycle riding.
i found myself at a fork in the road unemployed and recently divorced. i sold everything he had an hopped on that motorcycle. >> so why the name? >> a lot of things. become the forks in our lives. and lives. they are the things that keep us and steer us and they are what we share. finally you no, if you are a musician a tuning fork brings harmony and residents there is a lot of meaning. >> before. >> before we get into some of the things i want to talk about the book does have recipes. >> it does. one of the things, this is about my experience of connecting with people and culture. i went on this trip alone but i can tell you that it
did not take long for me to realize i was never alone. if. if i ever was lost or even lonelier hungry i would turn around and someone was they're. it is amazing how easy it is to connect with people and a lot of times we do that over food and drink. rather than do the travel meredith the memoir story i would bring another element to that. a full sensory experience. what is better than taking the flavor? when you are cooking at home you end up in the kitchen which is where we are connecting, where we connect with each other and with culture. >> did you run into any political situations? >> they're are a few places that they did not want me to come in one of them being
sudan. when i got to the border it was a little bit a little bit of my own practice and diplomacy in negotiation in order to convince them to let me in the country and hear is where it gets funny. i had been on the internet with different forms, people in cairo americans trying to get a visa and some in southern europe as well and all of them had been turned down by the sudanese consulate or embassy. hear i am. turn around and go back to kenya. i can't go into chad. somehow after going three different visits they decided to grant me a visa but they're was a check "chasing" catch. the largest country in africa. they gave me seven days to get through it so a transit visa, essentially, and i had to time that very carefully.
the same kind of thing in syria. you are supposed to have an opportunity to acquire your visa hear in washington dc before you go there because they don't grant visas to anybody who has -- who lives in a country that lacks diplomatic relations. so i got to the border they said go to washington to get it. i could have gotten this visa before i headed into syria but but i had been on the road for two years plus in the visas expired -- expire after six months and are only good for 90 days. here i am stuck in the border, politics, diplomacy, how do you get into syria. i can turn around and go back to jordan or i could try to go through israel and into lebanon, but i really wanted to see syria. i took out my tent, camped out at the border and waited until i finally convince somebody to call damascus
and give me the okay to go into syria. i'm telling you it was probably one of the most expectations were low but it was one of the best catchers i visited. i never once had to pay for a tank of gas. any destination i went into they embraced me. even at the border had to get one from a motorcycle. they said wade mr. allen the chief inspector was to thank you. i'm thinking great. guns and a big iron gate. the chief inspector shows up at the border worm waiting in my motorcycle gear ready to go been they're every day and he says before you go we must have shot. in middle east it's all about having tea. we get together and have a beer or whatever, hear it's
let's have shy. he said on other side of this dusty border stop in german outline of the map of syria and on that he pointed out, hear is where you need to go to really experience syria. the people are warm. it is sad that the government, you know it brings tears to my eyes to think about what is going on now. i had such a positive experience in syria. that is where we connected over tea, culture. i had good experiences. i loved -- i embrace south africa in its diversity all over south america, just fantastic people all over the world, fantastic food. beyond border hassles or challenges which i call opportunities anyway we can get through those things. great stuff all over the world.
>> did you ever get treated poorly because you're an american? >> never once. in fact, i was in brazil and i was at a little café kind of restaurant chatting and practicing the portuguese at this.and i actually was -- they're was another american they're who brought up the fact that i can't believe that we are always getting tossed under the bus so to speak treated poorly or misunderstood. what this brazilian said, i am i am actually getting very tired of hearing americans think that people are mistreating them or look at them differently. differently. you know i think that is all in your mind you americans that is what he said to me. and i found i found that similar with other travelers on that. people were more interested in learning about us. it is now amazing fact, but
i would meet people in all the different countries who have tried many times to go through the lottery of getting a visa. people want to come here. they don't want to push us away, that's for sure. >> did you ever have to call upon the good graces of potential influence of your brother, the white house correspondent? >> there was one case. this is amazing. the atm card and internet access are pretty much everywhere. and sudan it is tough to convert american money for atm card issued from an american bank or even international bank. i was challenged with how we're going to a currency money to make my way through the seven days. i call jonathan and said are the thoughts always? been on two or three different expeditions.
he had left in a safe and hotel in khartoum some money he had forgotten when he checked out of the hotel. believe it or not this is what is so amazing. they still had his money. it had been two years. he says call the sky. i i went to the hotel and picked up that sudanese money. >> a little bit from allan karl. fortune is the name of the book the quest for culture cuisine, in connection. book tv.
>> here is a look at some of the upcoming book fairs and festivals happening around the country. teesixteen we will be at the university of arizona with live coverage of the 7th annual tucson festival of books. the following week the virginia festival of the book will be held in charlottesville virginia. for march 252 the 29th the city of new 29th the city of new orleans we will host the tennessee williams literary festival >> marc kaufman is next. he's been two years at nasa's jet propulsion laboratory to get an in-depth look of the challenges and triumphs. mr. kaufman shows photos taken by the curiosity rover and talks about the evidence collected that suggests they're may have once been life on mars. this is about an hour and a half.